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WD-40 Brand helps transform 1967 Camaro into a golden oldie

Reviving a legend for charity
WD-40 Brand helps transform 1967 Camaro into a golden oldie

It will be auctioned to raise funds by SEMA Cares, which was established by the Board of Directors in 2007 to bring the voice and resources of the SEMA community together to make a positive difference in children’s lives. Proceeds from the sale of the vehicle will go to Childhelp®, an organization that provides services to abused and neglected children, and the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to students entering the automotive aftermarket.

The entire build of the Camaro showcases how WD-40 Brand products are used by automotive professionals in their restoration and customization projects. The Camaro project was designed by noted car builder Neil Tjin and built in partnership with Tjin and instructors from Universal Technical Institute™. The San Diego-based WD-40 Company markets its multi-purpose maintenance products and its homecare and cleaning products under the following well-known brands: WD-40®, 3-IN-ONE®, GT85®, X-14®, 2000 Flushes®, Carpet Fresh®, no vac®, Spot Shot®, 1001®, Lava® and Solvol®. The company’s products are sold in nearly 180 countries.

Automotive Industries (AI) asked Dr Ernest Bernarducci, Vice President, Global R&D at the WD-40 Company, what has made products such as WD-40 Multi-Use Product and WD-40 Specialist so popular since the WD-40 Brand was developed in the 50’s.

Bernarducci: The history of WD-40 Company is as interesting as the product itself. Norman Larsen, a mechanical  engineering graduate from Caltech, joined some colleagues to form the Rocket Chemical Company. A naval commander friend of Larsen’s asked him to devise a formulation to prevent rusting on metal exposed to salt water. It needed to be a lubricant that was stable, effective, easy to store, transport and use. Larsen experimented over the garage in his home until, on the 40th try, he invented a water displacement formulation. The formula was next taken to the port in San Diego where fishing trawlers were serviced. In a very bold and brave demonstration, members of the Rocket Chemical Company lowered a motor into the ocean and let it stay there for a while. They brought it back up, sprayed it with WD-40 MUP and the motor started right up. The rest is history.

AI: Tell about the research and development in the WD-40 Brand line of products.

Bernarducci: It all starts with talking to our users. We learn how they use our products. Product improvements like WD- 40 EZ-REACH™ and new product ideas like WD-40® Specialist® Spray and Stay Gel Lubricant come from these conversations. One of our values is “making it better than it is today”. You can’t do that without listening. The WD-40 Specialist Rust Release Penetrant Spray came from talking to people who wanted a faster penetrant. Its Blu-Torch technology contains ingredients not found in any other penetrant. It takes what’s great about WD-40 Multi-Use Product and adds an ingredient specially designed for WD-40 Company to make it better.

AI: What makes WD-40 Specialist Rust Release Penetrant Spray and Industrial-Strength Degreaser products so effective?

Bernarducci: The formula has two ingredients found in no other product, and which work in tandem to get deep into threads, seams and crevices to break the bonds that hold stuck parts together.

The formula of the WD-40 Specialist Industrial-Strength Degreaser is derived from plants. This exclusive PowerSolve Technology™ is blended with a second grease removing solvent. It is safe, powerful and easy to use.

AI asked Tim Lesmeister, vice president of marketing at WD-40 Company, to tell us a little about the WD-40 Company’s history with the SEMA show.

Lesmeister: WD-40 has been attending the SEMA Show for many years because it’s the best place to meet with auto industry pros to discuss their needs and how WD-40 Brand products can help. WD-40 Company first built a vehicle back in 2008 to help raise money for SEMA Cares and showcase the company’s products. Since then, WD-40 Company has raised more than US$700,000 for SEMA Cares.

AI: How did WD-40 products help put new life into the Camaro?

Lesmeister: WD-40 EZ-REACH™ has a permanently-attached, 8-inch flexible straw that allows users to get around corners and crevices. It was used on the suspension and chassis parts that we removed and replaced with new aftermarket parts.

WD-40® Specialist® Spray & Stay Gel Lubricant, a no-mess, no-drip lubricant was used on exposed parts under the vehicle that are magnets for corrosion. WD-40 Specialist’s Rust Release Penetrant Spray gets deep into threads, seams and crevices to break the bonds that hold stuck parts together.

WD-40® Specialist® Industrial-Strength Degreaser is a powerful, solvent-based degreaser quickly cleans engines and car parts to make them look like new.

AI: Tell us a little about the contributions of your partners in the project.

Lesmeister: No project like this can come together without the build partners. Neil Tjin, PowerNation and instructors from Universal Technical Institute all brought their specific skills and experience to the build to make it a great project. Product manufacturers also donated parts.

Ecklers: Bumpers, window and door trim, gas tank, door handles, seats, and many other finishing parts.

Axalta: Coatings to give the Camaro an innovative, colorful, beautiful and sustainable finish.

Budnik Wheels: The Pivot design is a lightweight wide spoke wheel, perfect for the Pro-Touring Street Machine car. This design was finished with a Titanium Ceramic Center and Brushed Rim Outer.

Eibach: Engineered using the same industry-leading technology found in NASCAR and Formula 1, the PRO-TOURING-SYSTEM delivers superior performance and modest lowering heights to improve handling response, while also maintaining Eibach’s legendary ride comfort.

Falken Tires: The AZENIS RT615K is a championship-winning street tire for today’s sports cars, performance compacts and sedans. Through its proprietary technology, the motorsports-inspired 8/32nd tread design and solid center rib provide significant traction and sustains strong grip in dry conditions.

Baer Brakes:

  • The front system features a 6P 6-piston caliper mounted to a 14″ 2 piece slot, drill, zinc plated rotor. Baer systems include stainless steel brake hoses as well as calipers that have D.O.T compliant dust and weather seals. Quality SFK or Timken bearings were used, along with NAS high grade stainless hardware for our pre-assembled 2-piece rotor.
  • The rear system features a 6P 6-piston caliper mounted to a 14″ 2 piece slot, drill, zinc plated rotor. Baer systems include a unique billet backing plate acts as a caliper mount and houses the bankisa (1-piece) park shoe. This works better than then the more commonly used drum-in-hat park brake system.

Optima Batteries:

  • The Optima REDTOP high-performance AGM battery is the ultimate starting battery and is designed to deliver a strong burst of ignition power for a reliable start-up every time.



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